Saturday, March 31, 2007

Re-Connecting

Today was a super fabulous day. I had been looking forward to Bohdan's Fat Ass run for weeks. A 'fat ass' run is one which offers no aid stations or awards. For my friends, our 'fat ass' get together is a group of friends getting together for a long run through the woods, good conversation and usually some food afterwards. It's all about socializing, connecting and having a super good time.

Today was all that. I haven't been together with these friends since January 1 when we ran the Murph. It's been way too long. Between basketball and tournaments and what not else I haven't made it to many get togethers. Today I felt like I was attending a coming out party! Coming out of the winter doldrums, into the bright spring sunlight of friendships.

I left home by 530 so that I would arrive to St. Croix Falls, WI prior to the scheduled 800 run time. As I pulled out of the garage I realized it was pouring outside. Gee, the last time I ran with these guys on Jan. 1 it rained the whole time too! Oh well...

As I was driving along I noticed someone riding a bike, along the highway, in the pouring rain. He looked happy and I was suprised by that. I thought 'ugh, he must be wet and cold, but he looks happy...' there was no opposing traffic so I steered clear of him, giving him some room.

I arrived Bohdan's by 750 and hung out while others arrived. Tom and Nancy, Jeff, Maria, Alicia, Jason, Greg, Larry, Kate, Matt, Brett and Maggie whom we had never met before. It was nice to meet some new faces that were interested in running the trails with us. Bohdan went through the directions, gave us maps, told us about the colored ribbons...and we were off.

Oh my! Pierre pulled up. On his bicycle. Yeah, the happy man, riding through the rain. Pierre Oster (Race Director of Arrowhead 135 and a friend of mine), rode his bike from White Bear Lake, 68 miles. He left at 330 AM and arrived Bohdan's a bit after 8 to run. Yeah. He was going to go in and warm up a bit, but I did see him running along the trail later on. Before he left to ride back home for 68 miles. Isn't that something? Ride on, Pierre!

So, off we went. The trails were wet, muddy in spots, the river was high. I had such a great time. We spoke of our future races. I and Maria are going to McNaughton, most of the group will be running Trail Mix 50K the week after, I'll be volunteering as I need 8 hours of volunteer work for Vermont 100. Most of us will be running Ice Age 50. Alicia, me, Tom and Nancy are heading out to Vermont. It was wonderful to re-connect with my friends.

Some called it a day after an hour or two, there were distances for all. After 4.5 hours a group of us headed back to the house for a refill of nutrition, some a change of clothes and we headed on back out for another out and back on single track. It was beautiful and wonderful. Jason is an ecologist and was pointing out cool plants and such to us. One was a skunk cabbage or something like that and it smelled like a skunk, but was beautiful.

After we had our fill of running we headed back to the warmth of Bohdan's home. He had the sauna at our disposal, offered a shower, and plenty of food.

It was wonderful to hug my friends good bye and say "see you at Trail Mix" knowing I would again be seeing everyone shortly. The winter is over and we'll be connecting more often.

What a fabulous day!

I have the bulk of my training in now for McNaughton, tomorrow is only a couple hour run and then I suppose it is time to taper a bit. I'm as ready as can be. I've run McNaughton in 29 (05)and 27 (06) hours. I'm looking to run 25-26. We'll see :)

2 comments:

olga said...

Great run, and pictures too! You are ready for it, Jul! It'll be fun!!!

Ellie said...

What a wonderful time! I just want to go out there and run with you, reading this. And I love the pictures.